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October 18, 2018, by The Ingenuity Lab

The Social Mission Addressing Teen Behaviour

Ingenuity19 is looking for the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators to create scalable social and commercial enterprises that can transform Nottingham, the UK and beyond.

We are looking for students, staff, graduates and early career researchers from across the University of Nottingham to come together and discover problems worth solving, and offer you the tools to create scalable sustainable solutions.

Nearly 1 in 10 school staff are bringing in food, tampons and pens for children in need across the UK (Source: GMB)

Today though, we sat down with Anika Vassell for a quick coffee…

Having spent some twenty years working with young offenders and children in social care, I decided to take an A Level Psychology teaching post in the leafy middle-class suburbs. To my surprise, many of the difficult issues that young people were facing in my previous role were ones that socially advantaged children were also struggling to manage. The notable difference between the two demographics was in how this distress presented in their behaviour.

In my work with these children, a key question I’d ask of them was ‘Do your parents know how you’re feeling?’ More often than not, the answer was ‘No! They wouldn’t understand!”

nottingham entrepreneur teenager children behaviour

Anika Vassell

From there I decided to create training for parents and for professionals who worked with young people, so that they could better understand, connect, guide and protect young people from teenage related, risk-taking behaviour.

My social mission is to ensure that parents are informed and skilled with proactive tools that will enable them to identify and begin addressing behaviours in their children, before they reach crisis point.

In order for my business to reach as many parents as possible and for it to be sustainable, I quickly realised that I would need a team to deliver the training. I decided against employing people and opted for a franchising model, where I now have accredited Parent Coaches delivering workshops across the UK.

The parent testimonials alone, drive me to continue down this entrepreneurial path; knowing that valued life-changing differences are being made as a result of the training that I have devised is enormously rewarding.

I believe that the social impact that my work has is immense. With the cuts to services that support children, young people and families alongside the rise in mental health issues, it is my belief that parents have to be skilled to address early stage problems in the home. My PhD research into this area at the University of Nottingham will be exploring this in more depth.

My advice to anyone thinking of setting up a business with social aims is to have a clear understanding of who your target market is and to build personable relationships with them. Engagement and ensuring that you attract your ‘tribe’ – the people who connect with you and think like you – is key.

If you are interested in learning more about Teen-Behaviour.Com Parent Coaching then please visit: and download your Information Pack.


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